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    Dairy Mart Goes Old School

    Customers get free cookies with the purchase of a pint of milk.

    HUDSON, Ohio -- Forget tangy new candies, high-octane breath mints and malternative beverages. Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc. is getting back to basics.

    The Hudson, Ohio-based convenience store chain is adding a new twist to a traditional favorites -- milk and cookies -- by adding flavor and convenience. As part of its 63rd birthday celebration the chain has expanded its selection of pint-size milk flavors and is giving away a free package of Oreos with every pint of milk purchased at its more than 500 convenience stores throughout April.

    Dairy Mart, which is promoting its single-serve milk business, now carries pint-size milk in the following flavors: chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, double chocolate, fat-free chocolate and banana flavors. The most recent addition is a blueberry flavored milk.

    "Dairy continues to be an important category at Dairy Mart. While other convenience stores now focus on other categories, Dairy Mart embraces the dairy category. It's an important element of our business?it's in our name and our heritage," said Jay Ross, vice president of merchandising and marketing for the Hudson, Ohio-based chain. "That is why we are leading the field in offering a broad flavor selection in individual servings."

    In industry sales, chocolate milk leads the flavored milk category, followed closely by strawberry, banana and then vanilla. According to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Chocolate milk has two fewer teaspoons of table sugar per ounce serving than a soft drink.

    Dairy Mart is hoping its offer will appeal to adults, as well as kids. A survey administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found six out of 10 boys, and seven out of 10 girls, under age 11 are not meeting their recommended calcium requirement, Ross said.

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